Mumbai, January 3 (KMW): With the Indian cricket team, under Virat Kohli, kicking off its first major international tour of the year in South Africa, the interest among viewers as well as advertisers has reached a peak.
The media rights holder for the series, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), has already sold more than 70% of the ad inventory of the tour that comprises three Test matches, six one-day internationals (ODIs) and three twenty-twenty (T20) format games.
“There’s a lot of excitement for the tour among advertisers. We started selling the process several months back,” Rohit Gupta, president, network sales & international business at SPN told ET. “We have already locked in 10 sponsors â€” five co-presenting and five associates â€” and are in talks with a couple of more advertisers. With almost a month for the ODIs and T20 games, we are looking at a choc-o-block sale.”
The co-presenting sponsors include fabric brand Raymond, auto manufacturer Maruti Suzuki, Idea CellularBSE 1.79 %, Airtel, and MakeMyTrip. Associate sponsors are Kent RO, 99Acres, Amazon, Policy Bazaar and Havells.
Media industry experts said that SPN may cross Rs 200 crore in ad revenue from the series, which Gupta refused to quantify.
He, however, said that the broadcaster has kept the average selling rates very realistic. “We have got our pricing right. Ad rates for Test matches are between Rs 1 and Rs 1.25 lakh per 10 seconds, Rs 4 and Rs 5 lakh per 10 seconds for ODIs, and Rs 5.5 and Rs 6.5 lakh for T20s,” said Gupta.
This is after a long time that the Indian Men in Blue are taking on the Proteas in their backyard. Last year, Team India had a great season at home, beating visitors Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
“India played over 20 matches in less than 3 months on Indian pitches. The competition was also not that tough, which resulted in low interest levels. But South Africa being a strong team, there’s more buzz about the series,” said a media executive, who’s client has bought inventory for South Africa tour.
India and South Africa rank first and second in the ICC World rankings. When it comes to ODIs, South Africa is at the top, followed by India.
“The India tour of South Africa is one that cricket fans in India are eagerly waiting for. While Team India has achieved phenomenal success in the ICC tournaments, they are yet to succeed in bilateral cricket series against South Africa in their home country. The series is also the most anticipated away-tour for Team India in the past couple years and for cricket fans, there is no better way to kick-start the cricket calendar of 2018,” said Rajesh Kaul, president, Sports and Distribution Business, SPN.
Incidentally, this is after four years that India is going to South Africa for a full two-month tour. The series will kick off with a three Test series on January 5 and the last T20 match is on February 24.
SPN will air the matches across Sony Ten 1 (English commentary) and Sony Ten 3 (Hindi commentary) and on Sony Liv.